Barcelona vs. Real Madrid: 8 Lessons We Learned About the Coming La Liga Season
La Liga in recent times has been a two-team race between Barcelona and Real Madrid.
This upcoming season does not seem like it will be much different.
The two clubs have brought in the most talent they could over the last few seasons making them both the undeniable powerhouses of the league.
Any contender would have to have the stamina to withstand a season with losing minimal points, but this will likely not happen.
It is easy to speculate that one of the two will be the winner of La Liga.
Here are eight lessons that the Supercopa matches taught us.
Two-Headed Race Is Stronger Then Ever
Barcelona and Real Madrid will be harder to separate than ever this season.
Barcelona may be the reigning La Liga and Champions League champions, but Real Madrid’s depth and talent is undeniable.
As Jose Mourinho enters his second year, the players will be getting more comfortable with his style of play and this will be an important factor.
Last season Real had moments where they did not seem like they could fulfill the potential of having a superstar lineup and one of the best coaches in the world.
The Supercopa matches showed a Real Madrid that looks more comfortable.
The first leg of the Supercopa saw a four-goal display where Real Madrid looked to be better even though the score line showed no separation.
The second leg of the Supercopa saw five goals and Barcelona looking like the stronger side.
With nine total goals, the fans can look for high scoring affairs when the two teams meet.
But one has to think about what these high-powered offenses will do to La Liga squads that do not have the world-class defenses.
Real Madrid and Barcelona will both have good goal differentials and their firepower will light up the league.
Home-Field Advantage Will Truly Be an Advantage
In the first leg of the Supercopa, Real Madrid took it to Barcelona in front of the home fans at the Bernabeau.
The second leg saw a magical display from Messi and company at Camp Nou.
The two stadiums are the most feared in La Liga and this is not something that s going to change in the upcoming campaign.
Cesc Fabregas Will Have to Be Patient
Cesc Fabregas finally made his long awaited transfer to Barcelona from Arsenal, but what will his role be at the Camp Nou?
Fabregas will likely have to be satisfied with the occasional start due to the fact that Xavi and Iniesta are in front of him in the pecking order.
Fabregas surely can earn a place, but the likelihood of him displacing one of the two is very low.
He did show that he is fit and can play with the squad, as he came on as a second half substitute during the second leg of the Supercopa.
It will be interesting to see what idea Pep Guardiola has for the Catalan.
Debate of Whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo Is Better Will Not Be Solved
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are undoubtedly the two best players in the world right now.
It is hard to separate the two.
Ronaldo brings more goals to the table (but not by much) and Messi brings the magic.
Both players undoubtedly bring flare and give people who aren’t soccer fans a reason to watch the beautiful game.
Let us not try to solve this mystery but instead simply enjoy another season of amazing displays from two players that will go down in history.
Karim Benzema Will Have a Breakout Year
Karim Benzema has not had the type of seasons he was believed to be capable of since his transfer to Real Madrid.
He has been displaced but is now fighting to become the No. 1 striker again.
Benzema’s strength and speed tacked onto his nose for goal will make him one of the most threatening players on Real Madrid behind, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo.
This is bold, but Benzema looked threatening in both Supercopa matches.
He also showed he has grown over last season and he will come into his own during the upcoming campaign.
El Clasico’s Will Be as Fierce as Ever
El Clasico marks the match up of the two strongest rivals in Spanish soccer and it is always heated.
Both Supercopa matches showed physical play where the challenges were hard and many cards were handed out.
The Supercopa second leg showed just how fierce this season will be when the clock was winding down and a bench-clearing scuffle took place.
It saw David Villa, Mesut Ozil, and Marcelo sent off.
Jose Mourinho got in on it by appearing to give a Barcelona coach a wet willy then smiling as the coach shoved him in the back.
Finally, a usually calm Mesut Ozil became fired up and looked like he was going to do something even more out of character for him.
El Clasico’s will be even fiercer as now this battle will be stuck in their minds during the upcoming campaigns.
It Would Be Nice to Have a Third Contender
As much as Real Madrid and Barcelona are exciting teams that appear to be world beaters La Liga would be even more exhilarating if it had a third contender that could reasonably take the title.
Other leagues are exciting because they have a handful of contenders vying for the title each season.
La Liga’s two-horse race needs to grow bigger, but the money is not there to have another squad to be a viable candidate.
With El Clasico matches being big-ticket games each season but there are not many matchups that jump out during the La Liga season.